Much has been said about creating lists, scheduling, or making a plan to get everything done within a work day. It’s about preparing yourself on what to do and when to do it, you know, for organization. Engineers are traditionally taught this since each accomplished task has an effect with the others.
If you are after finishing tasks as soon as possible, Josh Zerkel begs to disagree with that style. He is the director of global community and training at Evernote, as well as a certified professional organizer. That latter part of himself should give him the credibility of what he is talking about.
Rather than the popular “I will make my to-do list in the first hour of work and get all of them done within the day” mindset, Zerkel prefers the “I will do this now” rule, whatever that task or job is. He suggests that you do not need to think about doing things later when you can do it now.
“If you can do something right now in the moment, without having to close it and then reopen it again later, get it done now,” he said.
Photo by Lassonde ME
It is related to the “two-minute rule” of the best-selling author David Allen. That rule can be summarized as: if a task will take two minutes or less to complete, you do it now.
Zerkel argued that the “do it now” rule should apply regardless if the job is doable in two minutes or five. Waste no time by completing tasks head on, he believes.
He mentioned two primary reasons this rule works: preventing procrastination and building a sense of productivity and momentum.
“I’m not a big fan of look at your stuff, review it, methodically plan it,” Zerkel said, referring to the first reason. “If something is short, just take care of it.”
One more thing, doing a task at the moment it is remembered works because it “can lead you into getting to the bigger things that might be more challenging.” Zerkel mentioned that thinking you are getting a job done should push the engineer a little bit more in future tasks.
He spoke about this in the general context of an employee. But because engineers are taught to plan things out first before tasks are completed so this might or might not be an effective productivity tip for us.
Source: World Economic Forum